About the Society

The Scottish Society of the History of Medicine aims to promote, encourage and support the study of the history of medicine, with a particular interest in Scottish Medicine. It was founded in 1948 and the medical historian Dr Douglas Guthrie was its first President.

The Society is registered as a charity in Scotland (SC008621) and is affiliated to the British Society for the History of Medicine.  All members of the Scottish Society automatically become members of the British Society and are able to take part in its activities.


Three ordinary meetings are held each year. These take place on Saturdays with the autumn meeting in Edinburgh, the spring meeting in Glasgow and the summer meeting at a chosen venue elsewhere in Scotland. In addition an annual lecture and dinner in honour of Dr Haldane Tait, a former President and long-serving Secretary to the Society, is held in the summer, usually in Edinburgh.

Meetings are social as well as academic events starting with lunch followed by two or more papers on various aspects of medical history. Guests are very welcome.


The Society’s published Proceedings are distributed free to members, and are requested by kindred societies and archives throughout the world.

Links with other societies

The International Society of the History Of Medicine holds regular international meetings and congresses and publishes a journal, Vesalius, twice yearly.

The Edinburgh History of Medicine Group hold monthly meetings between October and March in the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh



Useful links

The following links may be useful for those interested in or researching the history of medicine in Scotland.

Scottish Medical Royal Colleges

Surgeons’ Hall Museum  and  the Library and Archive at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

The Sibbald Library and Archive at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

The Library and Archive at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Health Services Archives

Lothian Health Services Archive
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Board Archives
Northern Health Services Archives

Other Societies and Organisations

Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine
Scotland and Medicine
Royal Medical Society
Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society
Tayside Medical History Museum
Royal College of Nursing Archive
Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Glasgow
Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare, Strathclyde University